Reclaimed Fence = Free Benches

These are made from the 4x4 posts, 2x4 rails, and slats from an old wooden fence that weren't good enough to re-use when we repaired the fence.

It's close to the Simple outdoor bench, but I simplified the plan even more to take advantage of the pile of free lumber. Or maybe it's the Simple Outdoor Dining Table ... but a lot shorter.

CAUTION: Be careful to remove ALL nails, screws and bolts from the lumber you are reusing. If you can't get the metal out, mark that area and figure out a cut that won't hit it.

* Trim the ends of the lumber square before you measure.
* Don't try to salvage split or rotted wood. Trim it off and see what you can do with the good bits.
* Plan your cuts so you have the least waste.

10" Miter saw
Wood glue
Nail gun, with 2 1/2 and 1 1/4 inch 16gauge nails for gun (You could use deck screws if you have them)
Surform Pocket plane (wood rasp from Stanley tools)

For one bench, 21x36

NOTE: To cut a 4x4 cleanly with the 10" miter saw, put a thin shim behind each side of the 4x4

4 4x4 post scraps, 18 inches long (legs)
2 2x4 18 inches long (sides)
2 2x4 36 inches long (front and back rail)
10 fence slat pieces, 21 inches long (cut to fit the top after it is assembled)

See the picture of the underside of the bench:
1 - Square up the legs with the end pieces, glue and nail.
2 - Square the sides with the legs, so the legs are inside the 2x4 apron, glue and nail.
3 - Align the 2 end slats with the edges of the bench and nail through them into the 2x4 apron
4 - Space the rest of the slats on the top, leaving 1/8 inch or so etween the boards for drainage. Nail them to the 2x4 apron.

FINISH: Use the wood rasp to round the cut ends of the slats and 2x4s. Rasp with the grain to avoid raising splinters. Lightly rasp the tops of the slats to smooth any really rough spots.

A table or maybe a buffet is planned, with the same construction method, but a bit taller. Tables are 26-29 inches, most buffets are 36". It depends on what will make best use of the remaining bits.

Estimated Cost
Estimated Time Investment
Afternoon Project (3-6 Hours)
Finish Used
Recommended Skill Level